The Battle of the Beaches was held last night, March 20, at the Emerald coast Conference Center in Ft Walton, FL. The turnout was exceptional filling the grand ballroom with eight hundred and fifty enthusiastic fight fans. Included in attendance was the all time great Roy Jones Jr. there to support the local fighters.
Photos: Scott Foster
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Kicking off the show were welterweights Asa “Speed” Dalphone vs Cedric Felps. It was evidently clear from the beginning bell that Felps had no answer for Dalphone’s speed and precision. A quick combination from Dalphone put Felps on the canvas one minute into the first round. Felps scrambled to his feet but Dalphone was relentless and dropped him permanently with a body shot shortly after the first knockdown.
The second bout of the evening consisted of welterweights Steve Benjamin vs Tim Reynolds. Reynolds tried to come in on Benjamin the majority of the first round but Benjamin’s aversion and quick counter punching proved more effective as he dropped Reynolds with a left hook in the first. In the second round Reynolds tried to stay away from Benjamin as he was obviously still addled. Benjamin smelled blood and stalked Reynolds relentlessly landing a looping right hand sending Reynolds down for the count.
The fight marking the halfway point of the evening was a pair of one hundred and sixty-eight pounders. As local fan favorite Richmond “The White Tornado” Dalphone and Dominique Azeez began their match, it was evident from the time they set foot in the ring that this was going to be a slugfest and it was going to be highly unlikely to have to go to the scorecards. As predicted, the fans were right, Dalphone was able to successfully avoid Azeez’s haymakers and put Azeez down with a series of left hooks. Azeez quickly got back to his feet but was not the same fighter as he was tagged over and over again by the forward moving Dalphone. A body punch followed by an overhand right sent Azeez down yet again. At this point, referee Tommy Kimmins had seen enough and waved off the fight.
The fourth fight of the evening was a one hundred and sixty-three pound match. Shawn “The Missing Link” Schomer vs Donald “DJ Style” Clark. Schomer came out strong rocking Clark in the first round however, Clark recovered showing the crowd that this was going to be a back and forth battle. The fight proved to be just that, after four rounds of non-stop action, the judges scored unanimously in this exceptionally close contest for the speed and counterpunching of Clark.
The main event of the evening was a rematch for the National Boxing Association junior world title between junior welterweights Henry “Ambush” Mitchell and John “The Real Digg” Trigg. In this highly anticipated fight, the local fan favorite Mitchell came out boxing beautifully. He gashed Trigg badly above both eyes in the first round making it logical to assume the fight would be stopped due to cuts in the early rounds. Sensing the urgency, Trigg came out throwing caution to the wind in the second round. It paid off. Trigg caught Mitchell with a devastating left hook laying him flat on the canvas. To everyone’s surprise, Mitchell struggled back to his feet. Trigg stayed on Mitchell relentlessly landing blow after blow forcing a stoppage with two-seconds left in the second round and earning his right to take the belt back to Atlanta with him.